Panda-Hobby 1/35 9A310M1 TELAR w/9M38M of 9K37M BUK-M1 Kit First Look
|Date of Review||June 2019||Manufacturer||Panda-Hobby|
|Subject||9A310M1 TELAR w/9M38M of 9K37M BUK-M1||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||35033||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch, White Metal|
|Pros||Nice details||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$69.95|
During the Cold War, the former Soviet Union developed the concept of the Integrated Air Defense System which provided layers of protection over critical assets from an enemy air attack. These air defense assets were divided between the Strategic (homeland) Air Defense and the Tactical Army Air Defense Forces. One such system on the tactical air defense side was the KUB, known in the west as the SA-6 Gainful. This system was assigned to the Army Division level to protect headquarters, forward supply depots, etc., while overlapping (in many cases) the forward air defense assets like the SA-9 Gaskin and the ZSU-23-4 air defense gun system. Each SA-6 regiment had several batteries assigned, with each battery consisting of a radar tracking and guidance system (Straight Flush) plus a number of missile transporter-erector-launchers (TELs) carrying three missiles each. The SA-6 missile was considered to be deadly by western analysts as it used doppler-based guidance similar to the US HAWK and I-HAWK missile systems. The SA-6 saw its combat debut in support of the Egyptian Army during the 1973 war, and indeed, the SA-6 killed a number of Israeli aircraft, forcing many to stay close to the ground where the ZSU-23-4 was waiting for them. As it turned out, the Israelis developed tactics to defeat the SA-6, and like the SA-2 Guideline, if you can destroy the radar, the missiles were useless.
Based upon that combat experience, Soviet engineers worked to develop an improved version of the KUB system and what came from that effort was the BUK (SA-11 Gadfly). With the experience of another divisional air defense system, the SA-8 Gecko that introduced the TELAR (transporter, erector, launcher, and radar) concept, the BUK was built upon a larger chassis that could carry four improved missiles plus its own tracking and guidance radar system. Destroy one radar vehicle and the others in the battery were still fully operational and launching at you. The engineers also made the system backwards compatible with the KUB so the system could fire and control SA-6 missiles, if needed. Unfortunately, the BUK saw some action in support of the insurgency in eastern Ukraine when it fired upon Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, a Boeing 777, killing everyone aboard. While the Russians denied that any BUK TELARs were in the Ukraine, Ukrainian users on Twitter were showing videos of the BUKs being trucked back into Russia after the shoot-down.
Here is another pleasant surprise from Panda Hobby - the SA-11 Gadfly TELAR, or as technically described by the kit title: 9A310M1 TELAR w/9M38M of 9K37M BUK-M1. This M1 version represents the updated system that followed the initial production system. However you want to describe it, this is another nice-looking kit from Panda with a few surprises. The kit is molded in tan styrene and presented on 13 parts trees (duplicate trees not shown) plus upper and lower hull, one tree of clear parts, one fret of photo-etched details, and one box of white-metal track links.
Among the kit's features and options:
- Detailed lower hull
- Detailed suspension and road wheels
- White metal individual track links connected by metal pins (included)
- Detailed upper hull with photo-etched engine deck grille
- Positionable crew doors/vision ports (though should be left closed as there is no interior provided)
- Detailed 'turret' that houses the radar and missile launchers
- Positionable comms antenna mast
- Missile launchers can be posed in stowed or launch position
- Choice of two types of missiles (four of each are included)
Markings are included for TELARs in Soviet, Russian, and Ukrainian Army service while the color profiles provide eight schemes.
While this isn't the first SA-11 kit on the market (Meng was first in this scale), this is a beautifully detailed kit with the surprise of the white metal individual track links. Unlike the Meng kit, this model doesn't consist of a bunch of tiny parts, so it will go together more easily and quickly while providing sufficient detail in those areas that are more visible.
As noted above, this kit provides you with two versions of the BUK missile. One is the 9M38M1 with the longer centerbody fins (like a Standard Missile) and the 9M317 with the shorter centerbody fins with greater span.
Thanks to Panda Hobby for advancing the number of kits representing the modern segments of Russia's IADS. With the SA-15, 2S6 Tunguska, and more subjects coming, these kits are welcome additions to the SA-2, SA-4, SA-6, SA-8, SA-9, SA-10, and ZSU-23-4 systems put out by other companies.
If you'd like to see this kit built-up, look here.
My sincere thanks to Panda-Hobby for the review sample.
Here is a list of paints Panda Hobby identifies for the colors of this kit and the equivalent colors from other brands: